MAYOR ERIC BRUEN DROPS THE TURD: “I Don’t Think Water is Our Biggest Challenge”
“I intend to be controversial and control the dialog” – Mayor Eric Bruen, January 7, 2021
October 21, 2022
He’s bold, he’s brash, he’s calculating and he’s an ambitious politician using Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s well-oiled patronage system. He’s a “friend of Kevin” didn’t you know?
Mayor Eric Bruen of Ridgecrest talks faster than a used car salesman. He’s cold as a cucumber and scolding one minute, then clownish or animated the next minute. Even he’ll admit he believes the role of Mayor is to be a cheerleader. From his biography, we learn that Eric is known among colleagues and friends for his passionate, humorous, and unorthodox personality.
Bruen loves being at the center of attention as Mayor, and his mayoral Facebook page is the go-to place for the event news for Ridgecrest. He announced his candidacy and started fund-raising 3 months before the election and now he’s entering the final stretch of his campaign by collecting parking fees at the Desert Empire Fair! Hmmm.
The question is, would you buy a used car from this man?
We’ll focus on the candidate and the issues, but first we’d like to comment on the few endorsements for Mayor Bruen.
Newly elected officials do not always have the chance to demonstrate a reaction to historically severe events, but Bruen certainly has. Taking office in 2020 during the peak of COVID-19, Bruen remained strong and humorous throughout. Steadiness of this sort is sometimes invisible to the observer, but we all would have noticed it had Bruen lacked the strength of character to weather the challenges of the past two years.Daily Independent October 11, 2022
Though we appreciate DI’s “mild” reservations, we’d be more respectful of the DI’s opinion had they expressed any concern for police officers, hospital workers or teachers when Bruen was defending vax mandates and vax passports. Instead, the DI was publishing drivel from an ignorant syndicated columnist who advocated taxing the unvaxxed by firing them. Perhaps the DI or Mayor Bruen would like to explain why the Ridgecrest Police Department lost eleven police officers during Bruen’s first and hopefully last term.
In endorsing Bruen, we acknowledge a mild reservation. He obviously loves Ridgecrest and describes himself as the city’s biggest cheerleader. This is both a great strength and a potential weakness. Bruen can occasionally become too emotional, such as praising the 2019 earthquakes as an unequivocal gift to the community. Such language is potentially insensitive to those who sustained property losses during that disaster. But rhetorical excess is by definition correctable. We believe Bruen is likely to settle down during a second term.Daily Independent October 11, 2022
Rhetorical excess? Correctable? Sadly it’s not. The Daily Independent obviously sees the same things we do and issued a less than enthusiastic endorsment for Bruen. DI’s endorsement followed the lead of Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s empty endorsement in a seven-second video recorded on an old I-phone from a storage room in Bakersfield. We think the DI has a brown nose from kissing McCarthy’s butt and we’d like to see McCarthy butt-out of local politics. He’s only made matters worse. Gleason-Breeden cough cough.
The News Review didn’t make an endorsement for Mayor this cycle, but did endorse Christopher Ellis and Skip Gorman for the two council seats up for grabs. It’s well known that the News Review is Congressman Kevin McCarthy’s biggest supporter, and the fact that the publisher, Pat Farris, didn’t endorse Bruen following McCarthy’s weak seven-second video endorsement shouldn’t surprise anybody that’s paying attention to the groundwater issue.
Tom Wiknich is facing off in a one-on-one battle with Bruen. Tom has served on the City Council before, and he’s a businessman and former project manager who retired from NAWSCL. He’s also an active member of PACT and is a reserve police officer. He’s fully qualified to be on the City Council, indeed he deserves a chance to do what Mayor Bruen refuses to do, and that’s confronting challenges head-on instead of ignoring them and letting Councilman Scott Hayman take the “arrows”.
“I Don’t Think Water is Our Biggest Challenge” Mayor Eric Bruen, 9/28/22 Candidate’s Forum
On the endorsements, we’ll give The News Review a pass. The Daily Independent and Congressman McCarthy get a fail. The most serious issue in this election is groundwater, and Mayor Bruen has dropped the turd.
“I am not a fiscal conservative” Mayor Eric Bruen, 9/28/22 Candidates Forum
Eric Bruen is a caricature of the typical small town mayor-politician, the quintessential Mayor Vaughn from the movie Jaws. Get back in the water, build like hell, and growth, water being the elephant in the room.
We weren’t surprised to see him collecting parking fees at the Desert Empire Fair on Saturday. He looked exhausted because he counts votes in his sleep. Bruen owns the fair it appears, or should we say the credit union? And the pool, you’ll get your pool, with or without Mayor Bruen. He’s waffling between bulldozing Pinney Pool and building a water park. You don’t know what you’re going to get.
Either way, you’ll pay more in taxes regardless of whether Measure “P” passes. There’s a lot of subliminal advertising and messaging going on with both “P” for Pool and Measure “K” for Kern. Both measures have been well orchestrated and coordinated by both entities. They couldn’t have picked a worse time for a sales tax increase but maybe it will pass.
“It’s your choice to go someplace else” Mayor Bruen, 9/1/2021 on vax mandates
We can go on and on about Bruen (and Breeden) so we will if you care to continue reading, but we don’t blame you for moving on. It’s painful to write about much less watch. This is such an important election for the City and the future of the Indian Wells Valley we’re compelled to make the case for Mr. Wiknich
If you’re undecided on whether or not to support Mayor Bruen, the video of the 9/1/21 Council discussion on Covid policies will help make your decision. (See video below)
With regards to vax mandates and businesses that require a Covid vaccination, Mr. Bruen made the following outrageous comments : “If Ridgecrest Regional Hospital upsets you with their mandate, choose not to go to that hospital, choose not to use their services. Choose to suffer the consequences of that choice… That’s a private business.”
Compare those views with those of Councilman Blades, Rajaratnam and Councilman Hayman, and listen carefully to the members of the public who made comments that evening: (video starts at 21:43)
“I intend to be controversial and control the dialog” — Mayor Eric Bruen, January 7, 2021
It didn’t take long for Mayor Bruen to be controversial:. His “Boy who cried wolf” speech was contemptible and he lost our support from day one. It’s been painfully obvious he intended to be controversial, and he’s certainly proven to be divisive, so he won’t get our endorsement and he won’t get our business. Council members Kyle Blades and Solomon Rajaratnam were quick to disavow Bruen’s comments.
“If I ever leave this community, Ridgecrest will always be my home” Mayor Eric Bruen
“Ridgecrest is home for us” Congressman Kevin McCarthy
And we’re stuck in the middle with you.